Thursday, March 15, 2012

the Exorcism of Cassandra Collins

EPISODES 516-530

Barnabas recovers as Nurse Doctor
Hoffman watches on
Willie and Julia find Barnabas barely alive behind the brick wall but hey, the guy's been deader before. Miss Hoffman once again shows off her amazing pulse-checking skills as an MD. Luckily, they don't get a spanking from Barnabas concerning the whole we-let-out-your-former-nemesis-from-his-eternal-rest thing. Speaking of whom, apparently all Trask needed was some sweet convincing from our favorite she-doctor to forget his grudge against Barnabas and pursue the real witch instead. Seriously though, the guy's been dead for over a century and he still believes himself to be an instrument of God? Hasn't God told him otherwise when he died?

Liz looks like she's about to crack
Meanwhile Cassandra is mentally torturing Liz, pushing her to believe she is Naomi Collins and make a total fool of herself. She even addresses Julia as the Countess which even though confusing, she secretly found pretty flattering (you could tell from her rapid blinking). The curious thing about Liz's situation is that she doesn't act out things she read from the family history and pretend to be Naomi; she knows things. Things that were understandably left out the family books, like what's the best sherry to drink or how dull their sex life with Joshua was and even how her son Barnabas is/was one of the living-dead (luckily the last one is passed off as mere crazy talk). It's not the case of Naomi's ghost inhabiting Liz's body either cause then she'd be more like "where am I, who are you, where's my family and why the hell is Abigail dressed as a maid even though she had it comin' that bitch". It's more like an isolated universe which Liz is trapped in (and attempted to kill herself in, reliving the final moments of Naomi) and that's why she is sent to the Windcliff Sanitarium. History sure loves to repeat itself in Collinwood and not only figuratively I'm afraid, first Laura and now Cassandra have managed to eliminate Liz by having her institutionalized (I think the secret is in the name. If Roger is to marry again in the future, I'd advice him to stay from Angela, Diana, Lisa, Maria, Theresa and so on). Let's wait and see how long it'll be before our dear Liz comes back. I just hope it won't be as long as the last time; I need my weekly matriarchal fix.

Death of the artist &
the mourning daughter
Aaaand of course, The Dream Curse. Cassandra visits Sam Evans at the hospital in an attempt to jump-start the curse which was blocked by Prof. Stokes after his astral showdown with Angelique (Btw I've decided to address the witch according to her appearance: Black hair = Cassandra; Blonde hair = Angelique). Cassandra puts some potion in Sam's water that makes him have the dream and rather neurotically, which makes Carolyn's reactions look serene (and remember, she was quite neurotic during her turn). Sam's door opens to Maggie mourning over a coffin and he has a feeling that it is his. He turns out to be correct cause before he can properly tell the dream to Vicki, who's his beckoner, Sam Evans dies. Maggie is devastated (going "it's all my fault" just like I predicted) and I, well.. I don't really care. I've always found Sam boring like a sloth minus the hugability. And that is quite boring!
But let's give him some cool points for not taking off his sunglasses in the hospital.

Trask's overjoyed by the exorcism
Trask doesn't waste time carrying out his new mission and tries to eliminate the witch, first by trying to burn her in eternal flames (quite like a signal flare actually) which Cassandra was able to dodge and secondly, in a more fruitful effort he brings back the oldschool tying-the-witch-to-a-tree method. We find out the crucifix works against witches as well and with the help of some chanting shouting, Cassandra vanishes from existence!

Enter Mr Blair
Roger is worried about his wife's disappearance; Barnabas, Julia and Vicki sing Kum-Ba-Yah while trying to look concerned; even Angelique's portrait has faded.. Things look too good to be true when a mysterious man appears at the door (I LOVE it when they appear at the door) and introduces himself as Nicholas Blair aka Cassandra's brother to everyone's jaw-droppage. Of course people who are aware that Cassandra is actually Angelique don't buy that story and instantly dislike the man. And they're not wrong! 
Nicholas shows his powers to us without wasting time. He makes Willie casually recite whatever he knows about Cassandra & Barnabas; then awakens Trask's once again resting spirit to find out what he did to his "sister". Once he's certain it was an exorcism, he makes Vicki sleepwalk to the tree to which she too was tied to during her stay in 1795. Then just as easily eradicated, Cassandra is brought back good as new.

One happy family?
Here, we get to find out a little bit about the duo's past: Nicholas is apparently Angelique's superior and she made a bargain with him sometime in the past. I am not sure whether it was before she first came to Collinwood in 1795 or this time around but latter seems more likely. He thinks she's gone soft and is in luuuv with Barnabas, which she secretly admits. He tells her rather firmly to get her act together and be all vengeancy, reminding me of Anyanka the vengeance demon and her boss D'Hoffryn from Buffy. Nothing has been said about them being siblings but we don't need a big neon sign that says "Puh-leaze this is a soap opera". Back at the house, Cassandra has to say a half-arsed lie about being intimidated by people's hostility and having wanted to get away from all that. With Liz out of the way and Roger being a gullible fool, she is welcomed back along with Nicholas. And the portrait is once again multicolor.

With him breathing down her neck, Cassandra is forced to go on with the Dream Curse, making me wonder why the hell she resorted to such a long process in the first place when she could simply get Barnabas bitten by a bat again. Once bitten twice shy I guess.

Angelique crashes the PJ party
Anywhore, when Prof Stokes finds out about Cassandra's return he tells Vicki to run away from Collinsport as far as possible to avoid the dream. However, Vicki thinks Maggie's cottage is far enough and throws a slumber party instead. When two of them are done talking about boys and stuff, Angelique appears in Vicki's room and leaves a bottle of magic cologne that'll make her have the dream when used. However, Angelique is busted when Maggie comes in. Vicki identifies Maggie's description as Angelique but that doesn't stop her from almost putting the cologne on, if it weren't for Maggie-to-the-rescue again. Vicki tells Maggie to get rid off the bottle, which I hope she did because it's rose water and Josette used to get massaged by rose water and since Maggie is being all Josettey again.. well, do the math.

Sam's last show. Adios!
When it doesn't work, Cassandra goes all the way and awakens Sam's ghost only to put another curse that prevents him from going back to his grave unless he tells Vicki about the dream. We knew by now that the bodies of the dead would rise from their graves and go back in (Jeremiah and Josette) but we didn't know their spirits were also in there. It's kinda claustrophobic, don't you think? Anyway, Sam finds Vicki and tells her the dream before she can say no. Actually she says no but he doesn't listen. Oh well.
Almost everybody in town knows that the curse is put on Barnabas (they just dunno why) and he'd be dead when the dream finally finds him. They also know that he comes right after Vicki (another twisted irony on Cassandra's part, death by his loved one), so Vicki runs into the night to get away from Barnabas.

Last but not least, Prof Stokes found Adam at the Evans cottage right after Sam's accident and took him in, thinking he's a curious creature. For days now he has been secretly teaching him to be civilized, making him study, read, write and more. He even finds out how Dr. Lang created Adam and Barnabas & Julia's involvement in it. 
But Joe, being bright even though sometimes a little too skeptical, connects the dots and finds Adam in Stokes' house. Adam runs away, Joe follows with a rifle into the woods but before he can shoot him, Adam knocks him out cold with the handle of the rifle and I go "Ouch"!
Joe vs Adam Round I: Joe's down
Later at the Old House, Barnabas finds Joe's lifeless body in a closet as Adam laughs outside like a maniac!! Is Joe dead? Will Maggie be able to stand another tragedy? We shall watch and see~



  • Jeff Clark IS Peter Bradford. He remembers Trask and has dreams about the past. His memory is finally coming back but we still don't know how he ended up almost 200 hundred years in the future. But ever since the discovery, he's been acting like an impotent man, totally killing Vicki's buzz.
  • During Adam's training under Prof. Stokes, we learn that Adam hates Willie but wants to kill Barnabas, probably because he loves Barnabas. That explains his cat-like behaviour when he placed Joe's body for him to see.
  • I like Nicholas Blair so far. His witty sense of humour is very appealing and besides, the show totally needed a warlock. I hope he doesn't turn into an asshole like Jason McGuire.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Another Brick In Barnabas' Wall

EPISODES 501-515

Kidnapping!! Incarceration!! And sudden death?!!! That was an ordinary week in Collinsport! But where do we start?..

Bfff: Best Friend & Food Forever
Ahh..Adam, Adam, Adam aka our handsomely monster with a mind of a child and scars to tell the tale.. I understand how you must be feeling alone and horny (I mean yeah, mind of a child but body and hormones of a grown man right?) when you broke into Collinwood one night and kidnapped Carolyn. Unfortunately, your wallet of words is only enough to call her "Friend! Food!", which btw I found totally hilarious especially considering that is still way better than how Burke used to treat her. You locked her up somewhere, which I suspect was a hobbit's house; accidentally hit her head against a rock; almost pushed her over Widow's Hill but all is understandable because you are not a monster by choice. But that's not what the rest of the town thinks. The news of Adam is all over the town, he even got arrested (and eventually escaped). Liz and the Sheriff are suspicious of his link to Barnabas and pressing to uncover the mystery. Speaking of the Sheriff, I totally lost track of actors portraying that role after Dana Elcar, who was my personal favorite.

Blind leading dumb
There's only one who befriended Adam without prejudice and that is of course our newly blinded artist Sam Evans, who took him in and attended to his wounds right after a misleading cliffhanger where we thought Adam was actually gonna stab the man. That was also when I thought the show was taking a teen-slashery approach 'cause let's admit it, Adam is a creature that is somewhat in league of Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees. However because the slasher subgenre arose after Dark Shadows and Sam Evans is hardly a teen, that wasn't what happened. Instead, there was almost a heart-warming friendship that rested heavily on metaphors (the whole blind man-ugly creature thing with a cherry on top) but that too didn't end well. I have to say I am not very proud of Maggie here for what she did and what she did was hit Adam on the head with a hammer, thinking he's a danger to her pap.
The bells for Sam?
And when Adam -who has a natural immunity to such blows (or fallings down Widow's Hill) because well, he is made up of corpses and all- attempted to kill her, Sam got in the way hoping that some old fashined love and sweet talking would stop the beast but got bitchslapped instead. As the bitchslaps go, that one was pretty fatal: Sam is critically injured and probably won't make it out alive, Adam fled the scene as he always does and Maggie is woebogone. I've already braced myself for a "It's all my fault" themed mourning but then again, Sam ain't dead yet so let's not wrap the man in his shroud yet. 

Things have got a little bit complicated on the subject of the Dream Curse; it's not just sleep-dream-pass it on kinda deal anymore. We now know the curse is very dominant: it can't be erased by hypnosis. Instead, it even shows the location of the next victim when they're nowhere to be found but let's thank Julia nonetheless for the effort. This happened during the time when Carolyn was kidnapped by Adam and Willie was going out of his mind trying to keep the dream to himself. By the way, I don't know about you but I usually find listening to other people's dreams quite a bore, especially if they are so insistent that they climb up to your room in the middle of the night and terrorize you doing it.
Willie takes sharing too serious
Coincidentally, that is exactly what happened to Carolyn after she got back from the Adam adventure. But since she's part time whiner/part time fighter, Carolyn didn't let Willie tell the whole dream and hence got half the dream that night. It was more like a preview of the dream in the pay-per-view sense. Then Julia & Prof. Stokes stepped in and used her as a test subject to control the dream. They made Carolyn (lucid)dream of Prof. Stokes as the next victim of the curse, or "beckoner" as they called it and the for the first time, the curse was diverted. 

But the real deal went down when Stokes dreamt and had a astral showdown with Angelique!!! It was pretty cool how he refused to follow the dream's standard procedure or fall under her influence. He even called her an old hag and promised to send her back to 18th century where she belongs. Ouch!

The Dream Curse appears to be halted for now but I have a feeling that it's just on hiatus. Will it skip Prof. Stokes and go on with it's intented course? If Sam Evans was to be the next beckoner as seen in Stokes' dream, what happens when/if he dies? 

So this is the latest update on the curse:
Maggie> Jeff> Lang> Julia> Sarah> David> Willie> Carolyn> Stokes

Willie saw a wolf's head; Carolyn her own gravestone and Stokes fought Angelique.

From here on, it becomes a tennis match from hell:
A Séance & A Trial
Cassandra sends Tony to poison Stokes.
Feeling this, Stokes swaps the drinks and lets Tony have a taste of his own poison. When he survives it, Stokes and Julia convince him to work for them as a double agent. He misinforms Cassandra that Stokes is dead.
Stokes, Julia and Tony hold a séance to awaken the witch hunter Rev. Trask's spirit to deal with the witch.
But his vengeful spirit gets out of the brick wall he was buried alive in and has Barnabas go through the same thing. He even summons the spirits of his past victims: Jeremiah the zombie-ghost; Jade and Maude the two whores; Nathan Forbes and his wife Suki in a mock trial and seals Barnabas into the wall.
Not aware of this, Julia & Co. go around their businesses. Stokes asks Vicki to work as an inside agent in Collinwood.
Cassandra's eyes almost pop out of their sockets when she sees Stokes alive, who mocks her with a big smile on his face. He also mumbles something about her portrait not being unique and him having the original but we don't know if this is just a bluff or not.
Julia can't penetrate Barnabas' walls
Now that I mentioned it, I realised they haven't explained how she managed to revert herself back to young age after stealing it from Sam. Pfft..magic!

After 3 days of wondering where the heck Barnabas is and ignoring the sounds from the cellar, Julia finally does the math and sends Willie rushing to break the wall and free Barnabas..that is of course, if he is still alive!!!!!!

-Barnabas has been trapped for days without air, food or other facilities which has by now become a recurring theme in his life. Damn that Trask knows how to hold a grudge. He and Angelique should actually get married. 

-Also let's see how they will explain to Barnabas that they released one of his adversaries from his tomb without his consent, though I can imagine how it will go down: Julia will scream upon discovering Barnabas barely able to breath and all sweaty. Then she will gladly help him recover by giving him sponge baths. There may be one or two throat squeezings on Barnabas' part but he's too weak so let's not count on that one. Then they will try to reason with Trask to cross-over. And as with any other event, this one too will eventually end when the next one begins. What I wanna see though is the reunion of Vicki and Trask where she will get to kick his butt. "Welcome to my century, bitch!".

-I didn't like that they brought back Barnabas' past victims AND didn't even give them lines. The girls had to stand there, looking pretty (and scowly) and not say a word when the boys did the talking?? Unacceptable! But then again, the writers must have thought "Hey we have enough scorned women for one show".

-I wonder if they will further explore how the essence of Ben Stokes got into Timothy Stokes to fill-in-the-blanks his journal or was it just a one time lazy plot trick to find Trask's resting place within the episode? I wanna see Ben take his revenge on Angelique through Timothy. I like Timothy by the way. He has a sense of humour and has enough will power to fight Angelique/Cassandra's magic. "How's our favorite witch today?" Classic!

-Joe and Maggie's relationship is cracking because of Willie and Josette's hypnotic ear-rings. Joe had to beat up Willie but it was Willie who comforted Maggie when Adam attacked them. Ah, nothing says I love you like getting saved by a lunatic when another lunatic attacks!

-Liz IS the boss! I've saved it to the last but I just LOVED the scene where she saw Cassandra and Tony almost kiss and confronted the witch! That was a nice bit of a verbal catfight where Cassandra accused Liz of having no life of her own and always meddling in other people's affairs for it. Then she put a weird curse on the poor woman that would make her think about nothing but the concept of death. My dear Liz suddenly became a gloomy 50-something emo. Alright, I've just noticed this paragraph didn't turn out the way I imagined it. It was supposed to be a praise to Liz. Meh, now I'm depressed.